It is tempting to go all out and think that you can be a professional in web design. However, of the many who hope to become great, few will take time to learn the skills that they must possess in order to become a master at web design. This article will focus on some of those skills and help to get you started on the right path toward web design success.
Don’t use splash pages for your site unless required by law, and especially don’t use a Flash intro. Most people just want to get to your content as quickly as possible, and don’t care to look at useless splash pages. If you have some amusing content that you absolutely want visitors to see, integrate it into the homepage instead.
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
If you believe your site may be accessed via mobile devices, you will want to keep your designs simple. The use of flash, excessive images, and complicated menus will not translate well to a mobile platform. Keep your page clean and simple, or create a specific mobile site for your users.
Do not use images for your background. When you think about some of the biggest websites on the Internet, they do not have images as backgrounds. When you use image backgrounds, you represent yourself as someone who is not well-versed in web designing. Images as backgrounds also cause your site to load slower, which can lead to user frustration.
Make sure everything is easy to locate on your website. Spend some serious thought on how everything on your site will be laid out. When content is randomly thrown on your site with little thought to the layout, you are making things harder for the people whose use of your site ensures your online success – your site visitors.
Use breadcrumbs and make it so that clicking on the site logo returns you to the homepage. Breadcrumbs are markers that show where the visitor is in the site structure. For instance, the breadcrumbs might read “home > furniture > beds.” When the user clicks a link in the breadcrumbs, he can return to a page further up in the site hierarchy. Clicking on a business logo should generally take the visitor back to the homepage as well.
Don’t load rich content automatically. Rich content mainly refers to music and videos, but anything other than text or graphics qualifies. Many people browse in work environments where sounds suddenly playing is a big problem. Also, many people find such rich content annoying in general. Rich content should require some interaction from the user before playing.
By now, you should have a better feel for what it takes to create a well-designed webpage. Hopefully you can use this information to your advantage. No matter what the purpose of the websites you are designing, you can earn a tidy profit by doing so.